Controlled Blasts Scheduled: Elwha River
Contractor Barnard Construction of Bozeman, Montana is at work this weekend to prepare for a series of controlled blasts early next week near Glines Canyon Dam. These blasts will not affect the dam and will have a minimal effect on sediment release.
Rather, the short series of blasts is designed to decrease the size of several large boulders left by a post-1926 rockfall. Comparisons between 1920s-era data and photos and current conditions reveal that a significant rockfall, possibly associated with dam construction, occurred slightly downstream of the Glines Canyon Dam. Boulders released by the rockfall now pose a barrier to upstream salmon migration.
“We know that the pre-dam river channel through Glines Canyon was clear and free of large obstructions,”said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “Removing the rockfall debris will restore the pre-dam channel conditions and provide clear passage for returning fish once dam removal is completed next year.”
The Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to all public entry beyond the Altair Campground. Additionally, all areas west and downhill of the Whiskey Bend Road are closed to public entry, with the exception of the Upper Lake Mills Trail and upper Lake Mills delta. The Elwha River within the Lake Mills area is closed to all boating.
Removal of the remaining 50 feet of Glines Canyon Dam is expected to begin later this fall.
Webcams of the Elwha River Restoration project are available through the Olympic National Park website (http://www.nps.gov/olym/) or directly at http://www.video-monitoring.com/construction/olympic/js.htm and provide updated images throughout daylight hours.
More information about Elwha River Restoration, including weekly updates, is available at the Olympic National Park website, nps.gov/olym and at facebook/elwhariverrestoration.
Olympic National Park News Release